Wizard Elson had begun creating the spell 111 years and 111 days before. The spell was 111,111 lines long, each meticulously memorized because he dared not put something so potent down in script, even in small pieces.
Elson knew the power of one, and he used the power to his best advantage, building and building his spell and preparing to imbue the carefully crafted words with every bit of magic he had hoarded down through those long years.
However, during those 111 years and 111 days, the world had changed dramatically. The people of earth were now ensconced in the age of computers. Many of his colleagues had retreated to caves and tiny islands in abject fear of the new devices, but not Elson. He'd been too busy collecting his spell words and his power, and such a major move would have meant he would need to start over.
Elson, who had for the first 90 years or so imagined himself standing on a mountain top shouting out the spell, now found himself presented with a far better delivery system than the vagaries of the wind.
He had the Internet.
"I'm ready," he told Lexin, his long-suffering assistant. Lexin had been granted his immortality because Elson hated training new assistants, servants and lackeys. Lexin was all three of those in one package. He was also, unfortunately, perpetually 18 and sullen. Of late he'd gotten involved in the goth movement, and at least the black-on-black suited the lackey of a soon-to-be mad wizard ruling the world.
"Ready?" Lexin said with a sigh. He sighed about everything these days.
"At the first minute of the next sunrise, I will begin typing in the spell," he said. He had the joy of seeing Lexin finally look surprised. "You will stay here during the work, give me drink and food when I signal, and say nothing. And no, you cannot play that cursed music, either. You will sit and be silent or you will be an immortal cockroach. Is that clear?"
Lexin, who had been a cockroach on more than one occasion, gave a sullen, but silent, nod.
And so Elson sat in his tower and waited for the sun to rise. Well, actually it was an east-facing apartment in a rather dingy side of town, but that would soon change. He'd suffered for years without using much magic so he would have it all for this one day, this great moment of his triumph.
He booted the computer and opened an email, setting the address to a bit of magic that would take it to every single computer in the world.
As the sun began to rise, he started to type. One word. Another word. He typed each word, knowing that he would never be able to use them again in such a spell. The power he poured into them would burn them out for magic by the time he was done.
He typed and typed. Lexin gave him tea and cookies and held out his hand to catch the crumbs. Lexin hardly paused in the long, laborious work.
Line after line of perfect magic etched its way across the screen, power making the words glow even on the computer. The magic flowed from him and he felt weaker for it, but that would pass once his spell spread through the world and everything came under his control.
His hands trembled and his shoulders ached. His eyes blurred, but he continued to type and type. His heartbeat picked up as he typed out the final line, laughing with glee --
He snarled at Lexin who ducked and avoided cockroachness by a hair's breadth. A fly on the wall suddenly became a cockroach, however, much to his dismay.
He spun back around to the keyboard and hit the final return, laughing wildly.
"Typo," Lexin said with a sigh.
Elson looked to Lexin, his breath catching. Then he slowly turned back to the computer, blinking his fuzzy sight back into focus.
"Last line. You typed 'teh' instead of 'the' which is a common mistake --"
Elson didn't even look. He just waved his hand and heard a dramatic cockroach sigh.
Then he pounded his head on teh keyboard for a while.
At dawn the next day he began to collect the new spell, one word at a time. What was another 111 years and 111 days?
Maybe by then he'd have found the perfect mountain top.
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